Metro Atlanta Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about our community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 17, 2018

The Geheren Firm

Feb. 17, 2018

Government Offices

Bartow County

Cherokee County

Cobb County

Coweta County

Dekalb County

Douglas County

Fayette County

Floyd County

Forsyth County

Fulton County

Gwinnett county

Paulding County


Feb. 17, 2018

Local Hospitals by County

Bartow County

Cartersville Medical Center
Visit Website
960 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy
Cartersville, GA 30120

Cobb County

WellStar Kennestone Hospita
Visit Website
677 Church St. NE
Marietta, GA 30060

WellStar Windy Hill Hospital
Visit Website
2540 Windy Hill Rd.
Marietta, GA 30067

WellStar Cobb Hospital
Visit Website
3950 Austell Rd.
Austell, GA 30106

Coweta County

Piedmont Newnan Hospital
Visit Website
745 Poplar Rd.
Newnan, GA 30265

Dekalb County

Dekalb Medical Center
Visit Website
2701 N. Decatur Rd
Decatur, GA 30033

Douglas County

WellStar Douglas Hospital
Visit Website
8954 Hospital Dr.
Douglasville, GA 30134

Fayette County

Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Visit Website
1255 Highway 54 W.
Fayetteville, GA 30214

Floyd County

Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Visit Website
304 Turner McCall Blvd.
Rome, GA 30165

Forsyth County

Northside Hospital Forsyth
Visit Website
1200 Northside Forsyth Dr.
Cumming, GA 30041

Fulton County

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Visit Website
1001 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Visit Website
1001 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

Egleston Hospital
Visit Website
1405 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30322

Emory University Hospital
Visit Website
1364 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30322

Grady Hospital
Visit Website
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive
Atlanta, GA 30303

Northside Hospital
Visit Website
1000 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

Scottish Rite
Visit Website
1000 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

St. Joseph’s Hospital
Visit Website
5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

Gwinnett County

Gwinnett Medical Center
Visit Website
1000 Medical Center Blvd
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Cherokee County

Northside Hospital – Cherokee
Visit Website
450 Northside Cherokee Blvd.
Canton, GA 30115

Paulding County

WellStar Paulding Hospital
Visit Website
2518 Jimmy Lee Smith Pkwy.
Hiram, GA 30141

Posted in Hospitals, Services
Feb. 17, 2018

Flood Zone- Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Flooded North Georgia Home

You have found your dream home it’s not next to a beach or river, however, that does not mean it isn’t at risk of flooding. Before you purchase, plug the house’s address into FEMA’s map database. Many FEMA maps are currently being redrawn, but existing ones can offer some insight into historical risk. Why? Depending on the flood zone, insurance premiums can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually.

To find out what it could cost you go to the National Flood Insurance Program website. Ask your sellers if they have installed any French drains or sump pumps this could offer insight that there might be an issue.

Posted in Flood Insurance
Feb. 17, 2018

Roadmap to Selling a Home

Staging A Home

Selling a home can be stressful. Having the right guide is so very important. Georgia Elite REALTORS® are knowledgeable and can coach you through likely one of the most significant financial transaction in your lifetime. Our agents have the experience and knowledge to know what is needed to increase the chances you will experience a smooth transaction with hopefully more money in your pocket at the closing table.

Getting your home ready to put on the market

REALTORS® know the market, and they know what it takes to prepare your home to shine in a very competitive market.

Our Agents can guide you through and suggest to prepare you to obtain the best possible price for your property. It is in your best interest to listen to REALTORS® suggestions because it is their business to know how to achieve the best possible price for your home. Your house may need staging, those repairs you have put off for a while could cost you money if not addressed. The color you loved may be a deal killer for the public at large. Your lawn may look ok to you, however, curb appeal can make or break the sale of your home. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the process and help you obtain the right people to complete the jobs necessary to prepare your home for marketing.

Ask yourself am I prepared to do the following or do I need a REALTOR® to guide me? I’ve decided to sell my home. Now what?

There are two schools of thought. You can prepare your home by committing to complete the suggestions we have provided below and have your home in tip-top condition for marketing and potentially obtain top dollar, or you can do nothing and price your house accordingly.

Things to Remember:

  • Clutter eats equity
  • A can of paint is worth its weight in gold
  • A dirty house can cost you money
  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness
  • Neat, clean and neutral

Buyers want to look at you home and think they can move right in. For that opportunity, they are willing to pay. If they look at your home, and all they see is deferred maintenance and issues, and a list of repairs that would have to be completed before they can move in then that will cost you!

Start with renting storage space or have a pod brought right to your driveway. A pod is like packing as you go.

Clean your house from top to bottom. Wash the interior and exterior windows, clean the baseboards, blinds or window treatments, wash everything and clean and organize. De-personalize & De-Clutter your house. Buyers can’t see past personal items so put them away. It’s imperative your buyers can see themselves in your home. You do not want them distracted by your personal belongings.

Here is a simple rule. If you haven’t used it in over a year, you are probably not going to. If you don’t need it, be a blessing to someone else and donate it or trash it!

  • Pack up and de-personalize all your walls.
  • Put away your photographs from table and walls.
  • Put away your family heirlooms.
  • Patch all holes in the walls.
  • Remove all books from bookcases. Pack the books you’re moving.
  • Pack up all those decorations that may mean so much to you but are clutter to future buyers.
  • Clean out the closets and store non-essential items.
  • Organize and de-clutter your closets. Shirts, blouses, dresses, etc. Organize by color and Hang everything facing the same way, buttoned and neatly on the hangers.
  • Put essentials in a small box that can be hidden or stored in a closet when you’re not using them or your home is being shown.

First Impressions are everything. The entrance to your home has to be warm and inviting.

  • Paint or replace the front door and buy new hardware.
  • Purchase a new welcome mate.
  • Paint or replace the mailbox.
  • Paint your house number on the curb or buy a plaque displaying your house number and install near the entry.
  • Wash or replace a front porch light fixture.

Organize and de-clutter kitchen counters and cabinets. Look at this as the more organized, the more money you potential get for your house.

The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. Look at your countertops are they in good conditions? If not, re-do, replace or get creative.

  • Add new dish towels, pot holders, and rugs. Details make the difference.
  • Make sure your cabinets are in good shape. If not, try stripping and re-staining or painting. Look at the hardware does it need replacing? If it needs replacing, new hardware can be very refreshing. Hardware can make a total transformation in your kitchen.
  • Replace a worn kitchen faucet.
  • Lighting is everything. If you do not have proper lighting in your kitchen, consider installing pendant lights over the sink.
  • Organize your spice cabinet.
  • Neatly stack and organize your dishesMake sure your dishes are stacked correctly, and coffee cup handles are facing the same way.
  • Organize and de-clutter your pots and pans
  • De-clutter and remove personal items from your kitchen walls.
  • All closets and cabinets must be orderly.
  • How are the appliances? Are they new? Do they need to be replaced? Do they match?
  • If your kitchen is eat in, is the table the proper size? To large makes the area feel small. Remove the miss-sized table and rent one that fits.

Paint the Interior. Fresh paint does wonders to refresh your home and is relatively inexpensive.

  • Choose soft neutral colors in a light brown tone (never white), and paint every room the same color. Use tasteful and inviting neutral colors.
  • Painting goes faster if you paint the ceilings the same color. However, if you want your home to pop and pop means potential money. Paint the ceilings a lighter color than the walls. Lighter colors make the ceiling appear higher.

Freshen Bathrooms. If you have wallpaper in the bathroom, remove it.

  • Consider replacing the toilet and vanity, especially if they are stained or particularly outdated.
  • Purchase a two-light wall fixture or a light bar for over the sink
  • If the tub is stained, hire a professional to refinish it or if feasible replace it.
  • Replace water-stained shower doors or clean them with a lime dissolving detergent.
  • Purchase a new shower curtain and add decorator touch. Decorated tie back or if on a budget ribbon.
  • Hang fresh towels and lay down a new bath rug.
  • Place scented candles near a basket of tightly rolled washcloths to create a spa-like environment.
  • Remove all personal items and store them under the sink. All counters should be free of debris.

Your lawn and outside curb appeal of the house is your first impression. No curb appeal – peeling paint, dead or dying flowers, crumbling walkways or porch steps. You just potentially lost a lot of money.

  • Plants and flowers brighten an entry
  • Front door and trim work are new or freshly painted.
  • The backyard is clean, and it’s clear how to use the space.
  • Unattractive style and appearance are a problem.
  • Bright, exterior paint colors, such as purple, bright yellow trims, and bright red front door, could be a problem.
  • All outside shrubs, bushes, and flowers must be alive and well kept. Make sure driveways, stairs, and walkways are in good condition.

There are specific issues that can potentially cost you money. The look and feel of deferred maintenance will cost you. Below are a few other problems that can cost you.

  • Floors and carpets must be in good condition.
  • Bright, bold colors on all walls can be an issue.
  • A very distinct style that is beautiful but may not appeal to the majority of buyers can be a point of concern.
  • Rooms that are dark, always open your curtains.
  • Not enough light fixtures.
  • Rooms being used for unintended purposes or multi-purpose. Repurpose them back to their original intention before placing your house on the market.
  • Do not leave a lot of religious, political, or controversial items out.
  • Do not leave children’s toys all over your home.
  • Outdated light fixtures, furniture, and curtains.

Interior appeal. It’s all in the detail, repair, replace or fix everything.

  • Make sure traffic flows smoothly through each room and the entire home.
  • Do not block focal points and attractive features of the home. Fireplaces, French Doors, beautiful windows, etc.
  • Make your buyers feel welcome and comfortable and like they want to linger in the home.
  • Make your purchasers feel that all they need to do is move in.

Pets. Not everyone loves them.

  • Confine your pets – don’t let them follow your prospective buyers around and jump on them.
  • The smell of multiple pets. Odors are an issue.
  • Make sure all pet areas are clean and organized.
  • Wash pet bedding and deodorize.
  • Keep your pets clean and groomed while your home is on the market.

Your home must be clean, welcoming, neat, orderly, and inviting. Organized, de-cluttered, fresh and maintained means you will potentially obtain the best price possible for your home.

Setting the Price

Setting the price to market your home is one of the two most crucial aspects of listing your home. Many homeowners tend to base their price opinion on what they paid for updates, websites like Zillow, etc. One thing we know is that Zillow has never been inside a single home in Georgia and Zillow's Zestimate is typically within a 20% price range of what homes are selling for in any given market in Metro Atlanta. What does that mean to you? Let’s take a home that is listed at $300,000 typically you can count of the “REAL” market value of that house will be between $260,000 and $340,000. What a big difference, in essence, you could be losing market share from either end by using Zillow. Georgia Elite Agents look at the “big picture.” REALTORS access the current trends and then follow up with an in-depth comparative market analysis. Pricing is everything more time on the market results in a lower bottom line at closing.

Marketing and Media

Pricing being the first then Marketing and Media are you second most crucial aspect when listing your home. In today's market, people are highly visual and have very short attention spans. It’s essential your REALTORS marketing is capable of capturing the public’s attention quickly. Professional photos are one of the most effective ways to make your home come to life. Other fast-rising marketing tools are 3D tours and drone footage. Our agents have some of the best tools in the market and are dedicated to helping market your property to the fullest.

Georgia Elite Realty belongs to two multiple listing services. FMLS and GA MLS. Once our agent has earned your trust and you have decided to list, we push the property listing out to over 1000+ public/consumer sites for searching properties. These sites include Zillow, Trulia, and Our agents are trained in social media marketing and are well positioned to run ads that generate great buyer leads for our homes. We make our homes stand out, and our exceptional customer service and attention to making the details of our real estate transactions a warm, smooth and seamless experience are what make our associate some of the best in the business.


Not only does our Broker, Deborah Nagel, CRB have one of the top designations in the industry our agents are well trained and experienced in negotiation tactics, contracts, and managing all aspects of your real estate transaction. A knowledgeable and experienced Broker backs our Associate, and our goal as a team is to be an asset not a liability to our clients. We put our experience and knowledge to work for our clients and make their dreams come true. We have connection throughout the real estate industry and can help you to relocate anywhere in the USA or just across town, and give you the peace of mind of knowing a well-qualified individual is guiding you.

Posted in Selling A Home
Feb. 17, 2018

Possible Home-Buying Deal Breakers

Inspect a Home Carefully Before Buying

You’re ready to join the frenzy and buy a home. Inventory is low at some price points in some location; you might find that home is quickly scooped up by other eager buyers. You might also be facing multiple bid situation with other house-hungry buyers.

However, pay attention and think your purchase through. No home is perfect, like outdated appliances and misguided paint choices. But certain types of issues are severe enough to be a deal-breaker. And if you overlook the wrong ones, your new home can quickly become a money pit. Consider that what may be too expensive or time-consuming to fix for you might be entirely acceptable for another buyer who has resources to fix the issue.

Flags that could be deal breakers

Foundation and Basement Problems.

Look to see if the house is showing a few minor cracks after settling or are there more significant cracks that may mean expensive trouble. Look at the floor joists. Sagging floors and slanted floors. Check the basement are there any watermarks?

Wiring or Electrical Issues.

It not out of the ordinary to encounter outdated or inferior electrical work in older homes. If it’s been a few decades since the systems have been updated, it could be a fire hazard. Electrical issues such as tube wiring or aluminum wiring found in older homes can be very expensive to replace.

What to look for: Check the main fuse box, make sure it’s in good working order. Also, pay attention to any exposed wiring and wire that do not lead anywhere. Wiring a house can range anywhere from $3000 to $20,000.


Plumbing is the guts of the house, and problems may not be immediately evident – although water stains, sagging floors, and mildew can be evidence of leaks.

More insidious and costly issues might be with sewer lines or older septic tanks. It’s been years since many sewer lines have been updated.

What to look for: When you are in the house, run the water in kitchens, bathrooms, and toilets. See that they drain properly and have good water pressure. Check the age, location, and condition of the water heater. Check for leaks or leaky toilets or sinks.

A major sewer line or septic tank repair. Can run anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 to replace or repair.

What to do about it: Should any of these issues be confirmed by a licensed plumber, it may be grounds for asking for a price reduction. If a major overhaul is required, you might think twice about making an offer. At the least make sure you can safely cover any extra costs without blowing your budget.

Fuse Box

What to look for. Check the main fuse box to make sure it is in good working order. Look for any exposed wiring and wires that do not lead anywhere.

Heating and Air Conditioning Systems.

HVAC problems can be costly. Make sure the seller has done an excellent job of maintaining the systems. Has it been cleaned and serviced on a regular basis? Have the filters been regularly changed? Ask for maintenance records.

What to do. Should you be concerned about the condition of the HVAC system. Hire a licensed HVAC service to inspect the system (s).

The Roof.

Well-maintained roofs can last up to 30 years or more – but poor quality shingles and shoddy installation can mean needing a new roof. Make sure you ask the seller how old the roof is, and inspect the gutters to make sure the drainage systems are in working order. You also want to look out for dry rot – often caused by poor ventilation. Dry rot and poor ventilation can cause sagging and crumbling. Look for cracked or missing tile or shingles.

What it could cost you. Replace the roof can be a costly setback. A new roof can run anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000, depending on the size of the house you are purchasing.

What to do about it. Just because a roof is old is not typically grounds to ask a seller to reduce the purchase price of the home. But you may have room to negotiate if the roof has not been maintained and if repairs are necessary to fix visible leaks or other significant issues. More often than not you will probably be the one to replace or repair the roof.

Termites or other pests.

Current or past infestations of termites, carpenter ants and other pests may weaken the home’s structural integrity. Ask the seller if they have a transferable termite bond on the property.

What to do about it. Have a licensed pest control service do a complete inspection of the home before you purchase.

The flood zone.

The home you want to place an offer on may not be near or next to a river, beach or dam. However, that does not mean the property is not at risk. Flood zones have become increasingly important. Purchasing a home in a high-risk flood zone can mean a dramatic increase in insurance cost, as well as more difficulty selling the home. Flood insurance can cost you, depending on the flood zone, insurance premiums can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually.

What to look for. Speak with local authorities about conditions in the area. Neighbors know which street typically flood and which do not. Some homes always have problems. Ask the seller if they have installed French drains or a sump pump. Ask questions.

What to do about it. Plug the address of the home into FEMA’s map database. Get more information on what your flood insurance might cost is the house in a flood plain at the National Flood Insurance Program website.

If you dream home location is in a region at risk, assess the pros and cons. You may find that the seller is more willing to negotiate, but you also have to factor in both the increased risk of damage both personal and property and the ongoing extra costs for flood insurance.

The house’s history.

Poorly executed renovations, lousy plumbing repairs or faulty drywall can be costly issues. Knowing the history of the home you want to purchase is useful information. Ask questions. When were repairs done? Ask if a licensed contractor completed the repairs. You might also ask about former owners and the surrounding area. Find out about the crime in the area.

What to look for. The “Seller’s Property Disclosure” will be your best guide to recent renovations and repairs. If the seller’s disclosure does not provide the details, you would like to know ask questions.

When it comes to a death in the home. Sellers do not typically disclose, especially if a certain number of years have passed. Requirements for disclosure of this detail vary by state so ask? Your REALTOR® or sales associate can help you with this detail. You can also check online crime reports and databases for information on the neighborhood.

Handling Deal Breakers.

When you find issues, and it means two things. (1) Negotiate repair cost with the seller or (2) Repair costs will be an out-of-pocket expense for you if you purchase the home “as is.” Many first time home buyers cannot absorb a hit of several thousand dollars after buying a home. So know your budget before agreeing to purchase the home anyway. Even if you love the house and are feeling pressured to move, financial realities may make you reconsider whether you can afford a particular house, no matter how much you love it. Before your final decision, to purchase, check with a reputable contractor, or maybe even a structural engineer about the likely cost of repairs.

If you are buying a home, your REALTOR® or sales associate can help you calmly assess whether you should regard inspection report findings as a deal breaker. Or view them as future projects. The REALTOR® or sales associate may even suggest reputable contractors and licensed contractors that help you with estimates of what repairs costs.

Posted in Buying A Home
Feb. 17, 2018

When Purchasing A Home That Has An HOA

Atlanta HOA Homes

How to spot a dissatisfactory Home Owners Association (HOA). When it comes to purchasing a home with an HOA, “ignorance is not bliss.”

Buyers can avoid homeowner association horror story by keeping an eye out for specific red flags. It is of utmost importance that you know what you are getting into when purchasing a home in an HOA community. You must ask questions and review all the covenants, rules, regulations, meeting minutes, violation policies, collection policies and any other aspects you agree to that could become a financial burden on you.

Most purchasers are not aware of the difference between a good, mediocre, and downright unacceptable run homeowner’s association. There are specifics to look for and questions to ask. Knowing this information is of particular importance when purchasing a condominium or when the HOA is responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building. If buyers are not careful and do not take the time to understand how HOAs operate, they can end up paying a significant special assessment after they close, because of years of neglected capital improvements. The bill for special assessments can be anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000 are typical. They can go over $100,000. So buyer beware.

The information contained in this article is not intended to be legal advice but meant to be useful to help you to review all items you should consider when purchasing a home in an HOA community. It is only intended to guide you through some of the essential points to be aware.

Look at the community as a whole.

Is it run down? Do not solely focus one part of the property. Check out neighboring units and common spaces. Check out the area around the home you are purchasing.

Here are some telltale signs that an HOA isn’t on top of its responsibilities.

  • Are the fences rusting?
  • Is the asphalt cracking or looks like gravel?
  • Are the building signs in disrepair?
  • Are the amenities in good repair and working order? (pools, tennis courts, etc.)
  • Do the buildings need paint?
  • What age and condition is the roof?
  • Are the common areas, staircases, and balconies in good shape?

Questions to ask when thinking of purchasing in a community with an HOA.

  • Ask what the HOA is responsible for maintaining.
  • In single family communities find out if the HOA is responsible for caring for the property.
  • Find out when the buildings were last treated for termites. Have they been treated as required or has the association missed scheduled treatments?
  • What condition is the siding?
  • Are there issues that could cause flooding? Look at the grade of the land.
  • Are the gutters, fascia, and all other fixtures in good shape?
  • Ask about any HOA requirements that may be difficult or even a deal breaker in your opinion if you had to abide by the HOA rules and regulations because you will.
  • Ask if the HOA has had any previous assessments. If yes, get the details. Ask if there are plans or talk of any HOA assessments in the future.
  • Check the local court records to see if the HOA has had any legal issues or have been sued.
  • Ask the HOA Manager if there have been lawsuits or if there are any expected. How many insurance claims has the HOA had?
  • Is the HOA responsible for the roofs? If so, has there been any significant repairs within the last few years? Do they have plans to transfer the burden or responsibility of repairing the roofs to the owner? Ask the HOA how many roof repairs they have paid for in the past few years
  • .
  • Ask if there are plans to change any of the covenants, conditions, and restrictions that are currently in place. Do they (HOA) now or will they have plans to make changes to the current rules, regulations, and bylaws?
  • Have there been any repairs done within the past few years concerning extensive water damage or termite damage?
  • Ask to review the HOA reserve study.

Ask the current Association Manager for information on the HOA Reserves. (A reserve study) Make sure you know what a reserve study is. A reserve study details the financial health of the HOA.

What is the HOA’s long-term funding plan? Are they financially prepared to offset maintenance costs that may arise? Is the HOA being run responsibly?

  • Find out what percent of the HOA is funded? Here are some guidelines to help you with your decision. Zero to 30% is a high-risk HOA, 31% to 70% is at medium risk, and any HOA funded at 71% to 100% is a low risk or in other words in good shape to meet its responsibilities.
  • You want to ask the HOA how much the Reserve study recommends they have in reserves. In other words, how much should they be saving each year and are they saving the correct or recommended amount?
  • Has the HOA been on top of the recommendations of the Reserve Study and are they making capital improvements as recommended?
  • Think about how much money you can foresee being needed to keep the community in good condition or ask a professional. Then decide if you believe that the HOA has enough reserves to meet its obligations. Is it saving responsibly? If not, think about it before purchasing in that community.

Note to remember: Approximately 70% of HOA’s are under-funded and poorly maintained. Make sure you do your research and know that your property values are protected before you purchase a property with an HOA.

Posted in HOA Homes
Feb. 17, 2018

Purchaser's Road Map to Success

How To Purchase Your Dream Home In Georgia

Real Estate can be confusing if you do not have professional guidance. There are many similarities in the rules and regulations of purchasing a home from state to state. In many states both Purchaser and Seller have their own attorney in addition to their REALTOR®. Georgia has one closing attorney who represents the lender and handles the entire transaction. Except an ALL CASH transaction and then the attorney represents the Purchaser. The closing attorney will make sure the title is clear for the Purchaser and will issue title insurance, as well as collect and distribute funds according to the contract.

It is crucial to work with a REALTOR® who can guide you through the sometimes mind-boggling transactions. REALTOR®S can assist you to maneuver the purchase, to sign the proper documents correctly and they can help you mitigate your liabilities in the contract.

Essential Steps to Successfully Purchase Your New Home

Pick Your REALTOR®

Selecting the right REALTOR® can be the turning point to a smooth transaction/delightful experience or a nightmare/nerve-racking experience. A professional REALTOR® will have a “dream team” to help you with your transaction. Georgia Elite Realty has a team of educated, successful REALTOR®S with credentials to back it up. They have experience and a track record of success. When hiring a REALTOR®, always ask first if they are a REALTOR®? Second, how many homes have they sold in the last 12 months? What sets them apart from other real estate agents or REALTOR®S? Ask to see testimonials, reviews and actual examples of the REALTOR®’S success stories. Georgia Elite Realty will happily offer a complimentary Buyer Consult before you select your REALTOR®S and begin looking at properties. We want you to work with someone you can know and trust.

Pick Your Loan Officer (LO)

Do not be surprised if you REALTOR® request you meet with a loan officer before showing you homes. Many times Purchasers think they are in better shape than they are financially and can afford more home than they may be able to. It’s essential you know your financial picture before you begin your home search.

A good loan officer has the buyer’s best interest at heart and will help line up the financing for the home of your dreams. Local professionals that have in-house underwriting is what we recommend. Georgia Elite has an in-house loan officer to help you every step of the way. We are a one-stop-shop and make sure our clients have the best representation available in all areas of the transaction.

A REALTOR® Can Offer A Team of Pros To Help With Your Purchase.

It is essential you work with a team of Pro’s and the Pro’s needed can vary from house to house. A professional REALTOR® will have a team in place of home inspectors, contractors, plumbers, roofers, electrician, surveyor, home warranty company, pool inspector any professional needed to make sure you can make an excellent decision on your home purchase. Georgia Elite Realty has a complete list professional with a track record of success. All of our Professional Service Contractor are vetted, and our team has had past good experiences with their service, and we believe they will provide the best service possible.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved

Your loan officer does not approve your loan. Your loan officer can give you a letter that is called a Pre-Qualification letter. However, this letter is primarily telling the Seller that the loan officer did a quick review of your credit and unverified financials on an application and said it looks good. There is a real difference. Pre-Approval requires submitting loan documents, verifying income, and having the file reviewed by an underwriter. (The Underwriter is the professional that approves or denies your loan.) When you find your dream home, and you are ready to make an offer a “Pre-Approval Letter” puts you in a much stronger position. When negotiating or competing against multiple buyers for the same home a Pre-Approval Letter will carry more weight.

Note: Your loan officer is your guide, she/he makes sure you are prepared and know what to expect. The loan officer is gathering the information needed for your loan approval, She/He, does not approve your loan. It is important that when your loan officer request documents from you; you supply it promptly. Your timely submission of the loan officer’s request can make or break your approval process and can clear the way to close on time or not.

If you select a lender that is unable to qualify you, don’t give up. If one lender is unable to approve you, then another may be able to. Do not worry about having multiple lenders pull your credit. If your credit has various inquiries by multiple lenders within a 30-day time frame, then multiple credit inquiries will be treated as one. Credit rating agencies allow buyers to shop their loan.

Georgia Elite Realty has an in-house lender to serve their client's needs. ACOPIA HOME LOANS is our preferred partner. If you need immediate assistance, please call Rhonda Crow @ 404-992-5626.

Find The Right Home

Once you have spent time with your Loan Officer and know what your financial situation is and what value home you can purchase then its time for our Georgia Elite Professionals to guide you through finding your dream home. Our REALTORS® will work with you to determine your wants and needs and to guide you through the difference. When purchasing home buyers find out quickly that they might not be able to locate “everything” they desire in one home. However, our team can help you determine what is important to you by an exercise in “wants” vs. “needs.” Our qualified professionals will select homes according to the purchaser's preference and schedule showings for the buyer of homes that fit their criteria. Our agents possess the tools necessary to immediately alert the buyer of properties that match their preferences the moment a property is listed, Georgia Elite REALTOR®S have the edge over many other real estate agents in the market.

Once our clients have found the right home, our REALTOR®S will guide the buyer through the process of writing an offer, handling correspondence and negotiating the best purchase price possible. They will be available to answer questions and help the buyer make the best decisions at their comfort level. Once the REALTOR® has worked out a win-win for all parties and have come to terms, everyone can work with the REALTOR® will request earnest money from the purchaser. Note: Earnest money is the money given by the buyer to the seller to show good-faith.

Earnest money is refundable if all the conditions of the contract are met or if the refund is requested during the “due diligence period” stated in the contract. Your REALTOR® will explain the terms under which the purchaser may terminate the agreement and receive a full refund of their earnest money.

Note: If all terms and conditions are not met, including time is of the essence. Then the earnest money can be lost to the Seller. Time means something in a real estate transaction so pay attention to time and due dates in your contract. Ask your REALTOR® to explain “time is of the essence” to you.

Due Diligence Period (ALL Inspections)

Due Diligence is the period set out in the contract for the purchaser to look at “everything” that is important to that purchaser. Home inspection, appraisal, survey schools, neighborhood, church, any and ALL information or investigation that is important to the purchaser. Due Diligence “ period” is negotiable. It is essential you let your REALTOR® know the inspections, information, and investigations that are important to you. Your requirement will determine how much time you will need.

Due Diligence in a contract begins the day after the binding agreement date. All days are calendar days, not business days. Example: If the purchaser signs the contact and it becomes binding on July 1, then due diligence starts July 2. Time is of the essence and time in a real estate contract can cost you. Due Diligence ends the last day of the agreed upon period at 12 midnight.

In Georgia, it is “caveat emptor,” “Let the buyer beware.” Therefore it is the buyer's responsibility to seek advice from professionals. The survey, Home Inspector, Schools, Area, Geography, Churches, Demographics, whatever is critical to the buyer, this is the time to find out. It is the buyer's responsibility to know everything about the property they are about to purchase. Your REALTOR® can be invaluable at this point in your transaction.

Note: We recommend that even though it's not required, by your mortgage company to get loan approval; we urge everyone who wants to purchase a home to get a SURVEY.

Your REALTOR® is invaluable for many reasons. Once the inspection period is complete and if the inspection reveals significant faults, the purchaser truly needs a professional. Why? At this point, your REALTOR® can negotiate on your behalf to repair items that are not to your liking on the inspection report. REALTOR®S have the knowledge necessary to help you navigate this uncomfortable situation and can help both parties work through to a win-win for everyone. The point is to help you purchase your dream home, and a professional REALTOR® can be the difference between having to terminate the contract or getting you to closing.

REALTOR® Guidance To Closing

After your Georgia Elite REALTOR® has guided you through the inspection process, it’s time for the lender to order the appraisal, buyer pays for the appraisal. Your loan amount will be based on the appraised value of the home. Here is another critical point where your REALTOR® becomes invaluable. A Georgia Elite REALTOR® can be essential should an appraisal hit a challenging spot. Their knowledge can help you make some tough decisions more manageable. Appraisals have been the make or break in many a transaction. However, should your appraisal come in just as it should your REALTOR® is still by your side, and you will need her/him. Hopefully, you have been diligent in getting all your documents to the loan officer, however, if you have not your REALTOR® will play a key role in helping you finalize all that you need and get your file to the underwriter for a “Clear to Close.” Once you have cleared all the hurdles, the loan officer will work with the closing attorney to prepare the documents for closing.

Note: DO NOT PURCHASE ANYTHING during this process. Many buyers think they are approved and ready to close, and in their excitement they make purchases preparing for their new home. STOP!!! DON’T. The lender will pull your credit again before closing, and if you make any significant purchases or open new lines of credit, you may not be closing after all. Don’t spend any money until AFTER closing. By making a purchase, you can change your debt-to-income ratio and impact your ability to obtain a loan, even after you're clear to close has been issued.

The lender is required to provide you a copy of the “Closing Disclosure” three days ahead of time. This document discloses all monies that will be paid by the purchaser and seller at the closing table. Your REALTOR® will help you review this document and make sure it is correct, and you are ready to close.


Your loan is clear to close; the attorney has completed the title work, it’s clear, and the documents are ready for closing, all that’s left is your signature, and the home is yours! No, your REALTOR® will guide you. Before closing, the purchaser will receive wiring instructions from the closing attorney. It is best practice for the purchaser to call the attorney to make sure the wiring instructions are correct and what other options the Attorney might have for making sure your funds available at closing.

You will be required to bring two forms of ID to closing.

Always be prepared. Make sure you know the location of the closing attorneys office, often closing attorneys have more than one office. Call ahead and verify, then relax and enjoy.

Happy Closing!

Posted in Buying A Home
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates